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Big Island for 6 nights - Staying in Hawi?

Hartford...
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Big Island for 6 nights - Staying in Hawi?

Still in the planning stages of a six night stay (not including the first night when we fly in from the NYC area to Kona). We are considering staying in the Hawi area. I know this is way out of the way, but I hear the area is beautiful. I figure a day trip into Kona and a night staying over in Volcanoes, would you recommend Hawi or the North Kohala area? We like the relax at the beach, kayak, hike, and more or less get away from the typical tourist-y areas. Hawi seems like a really interesting place. Worth a 6 night trip? Or would you suggest south Kohala instead?

Thanks,

Joe

LA
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1. Re: Big Island for 6 nights - Staying in Hawi?

I wouldn't stay in Hawi. Too windy and exposed, without beaches.

I would stay in south Kohala.

Seattle, Washington
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2. Re: Big Island for 6 nights - Staying in Hawi?

Hawi is a town I normally visit as part of a day trip when I stay in Kohala. Hawi is definitely not on a well beaten track, but it does give easy access to the Pololu Valley, which has some excellent hiking. Unfortunately, you'll be about half an hour away from the best beaches at Hapuna and Mauna Kea, and Hawi can get wet, which also means that the area tends to be greener than Kailua Kona.

You're not going to find much in the way of kayaking on the Big Island. The only exception is to paddle on Kealakekua Bay, but that's well over an hour's drive from Hawi.

Canada
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3. Re: Big Island for 6 nights - Staying in Hawi?

Oh yikes...Hawi is worthy of an hour or so visit some afternoon..... if that...

Stay in South Kohala....Hands down.....

What is the entire length of your stay on the Big Island?Try not to chop up your brief stay into more than 2 locales. A drive to South Kohala on arrival night is nothing.

Island of Hawaii...
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4. Re: Big Island for 6 nights - Staying in Hawi?

Hawi is not where visitors usually stay, unless they have been to the Big Island 10 times before. It's a very local area with a two block "central" section that most visitors go through in 20 minutes, and that icludes an ice cream stop at Hawaiian Dreams! :):):)

Island of Hawaii...
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5. Re: Big Island for 6 nights - Staying in Hawi?

Hawi is a beautiful place to recharge batteries and enjoy a non-touristy Hawai'i, but the two villages are actually over-run by tourists on day trips, and you see them best if you are there in the early day and after the day-trippers go back.

Hawi is one of those areas where it is far better if you go there knowing one or more residents and can get invited to private property. There is not a lot that is public, although there are two ziplines, there is Flumin Da Ditch, there is Pololu, the Bond Estate trails, the hike to Mo'okini.

BUT, there really is no good ocean access other than Mahukona when it is calm -- and there's no sand there.

If you want to get away from touristy, and you don't mind high end homes and a little wind, Kohala Ranch and Kohala Estates offer that. They are in North Kohala, barely, but they are dry, face the ocean, have great sunsets, great starry skies -- and they are 10 minutes from some great beach. Neither subdivision is touristy. I would include Kohala By the Sea, but it doesn't have a lot of rentals. It is the closest to the beaches.

Honokaa, Hawaii
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6. Re: Big Island for 6 nights - Staying in Hawi?

We like to stop at KeoKea beach when we are in the area. The ocean entry ranges from calm to treacherous, but it's a nice local style beach park.

Denver, Colorado
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7. Re: Big Island for 6 nights - Staying in Hawi?

Keokeo Beach park facilities were under heavy reconstruction as of September 2011 so its probably in the same mess at this point. The only beach really worth visiting up far north end of the island is Pololu Beach and that's not even good for swimming.

Firstly 6 nights is not enough to properly see the whole island. 10 nights is my recommended minimum w/ maybe a mix of 5 nights Waikoloa area 2 nights Volcano/Hilo and back around in Captain Cook to Kona for last 3 nights.

Hawi is good for exploring Pololu Valley for one day then maybe a zip line tour then you have run out of obvious things to do w/ the nicest beaches a good 40 minutes away back in Waikoloa area. You can easlily access Hawi form Waimiea or Waikoloa area as a day trip.

Best hiking will be in Volcano National Park and kayaking probably Captain Cook area so look at your plannning again a consider extending your stay or just focus on one region of the " really big" island.

Hartford...
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8. Re: Big Island for 6 nights - Staying in Hawi?

Thanks for all the replies.

I guess south kohala is the better choice for us. Generally we prefer to stay at rentals or bed and breakfasts rather than resorts. Plus id rather my money goes to a local rather than padding Paris Hilton's inheritance. Any recommendations aside from me searching vrbo blindly? Preferably less than 150/night with some things in walking distance. For instance when we go to Kauai we stay in hanalei for the proximity to swimmable waters and places to eat.

Thanks

Joe

Big Island, Hawaii
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9. Re: Big Island for 6 nights - Staying in Hawi?

Aside from condos in resort areas, your vrbo options in South Kohala are mostly going to be limited to (1) Puako, a small oceanfront town very well located near the best beaches with good snorkeling and weather, but no restaurants or other facilities other than a small general store. These rentals are generally quite expensive but you might be able to find something not on the ocean, like a room in somebody's house or a studio, for less, but I doubt in your price range although it can't hurt to look. (2) Waimea/Kamuela, an upcountry pretty town that is often wet and windy and chilly, but is about 15-20 minutes to nice beaches and has good restaurants.

The Big Island unfortunately does not have towns like Hanalei, with a wide variety of vacation rentals,beaches, good shops, and small, good restaurants.

I understand you not wanting to spend your money at the resorts, but truthfully even with vacation rentals your money isn't going to a "local" most of the time, but to wealthy mainlanders who own second/third/fourth homes they use as vacation rentals. Six of one, half dozen of another.

Edited: 06 December 2011, 20:10
Island of Hawaii...
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10. Re: Big Island for 6 nights - Staying in Hawi?

If you want "walk to" then you need to look at the resorts. There aren't any B&B options that offer that. Big Island was developed entirely differently from Kaua'i, don't even try to find analogous situations.

Non-touristy community with local type eateries equals substantial drive to beach. I think you need to read a guide book and get a better overview of the island. Lonely Planet is my favorite.

Your approach here is going to lead to frustration. You can't decide what you want based on other islands and then seek it. You need to wipe the slate clean, read about this island, fully understand the choices, THEN and only then are you ready to make a selection.